"Well, you've clearly got love on your mind, Molly."
Molly looked at Sherlock sharply.
"For god's sake, Sherlock. Leave the woman alone. We get it; you're handsome and in constant need of attention. Stop."
"Oh, I'd stop if I was the problem."
Molly glowered at Sherlock.
"Then who, pray tell, is the problem?"
"Don't," Molly said to Sherlock.
"Then let me use your microwave for the experiment."
"No," she said firmly.
"Mycroft, it's you she wants, not me."
Molly punched Sherlock rather hard in the arm. He rubbed at the spot. "Your brother is a real jerk sometimes," Molly said to Mycroft in frustration, then carefully looked away from him. "Er."
Mycroft barely even talked to Molly after that. It hurt her feelings a bit; of course it did. But all in all, he was Sherlock's weird older brother, and she barely knew him, so she was okay.
After a while, though, it just really annoyed her. If he kept showing up and bothering Sherlock, he could at least talk to Molly about the weather.
"Look," she said to Mycroft. "You're in politics, so I know you can fake a conversation. At least have the decency to try it. I've got feelings." She begged him with her eyes.
"I'm sorry," he said. "Sorry." He did look properly sorry.
"Well," she said, considering, "I suppose that's okay. Don't let it happen again. I won't stand for being ignored in my own house."
3. Small talk
"Lovely weather we're having, Miss Hooper," Mycroft said, this time ignoring Sherlock, who was sprawled out on the sofa. "Have you any plans for the weekend?"
"Er...no, not really," she said, relaxing as she realized he was honestly trying. "I'll probably just go to the shop for a few things. Sorry."
He furrowed his brow at her apology.
"So, what about you? Plans?"
Mycroft sighed. "A colleague offered me symphony tickets he can no longer use, but I haven't decided whether I'll go. Sherlock refused to join me." He rolled his eyes.
"But you'd love that, Sherlock," Molly protested, surprised.
"So would you," Sherlock countered. "Why don't you join him, then?"
Molly giggled a bit. "Stop it, Sherlock. No, really, stop," she said warningly. "Sorry," she said to Mycroft, who stared at her for a moment longer.
4. Phone call
"Oh, hi, Mycroft. To what do I owe the, ah, pleasure?" she joked.
"Would you really like to go with me to the symphony?"
She twirled hair around her finger with purpose. "Oh. Sure. I mean. I guess so. Are you sure? You know so many...interesting people."
"Are you interested in going with me?"
"I'm interested." She untangled the finger and put it to her lips while Sherlock grinned at her, obviously realizing who it was.
"I'll pick you up at 6:15, if it's not too much trouble?"
"No, I'd like to go," she said, kicking at Sherlock with a socked foot when he made a kissy face at her.
"Alright. Good evening, Miss Hooper."
"Good evening, then." She took a deep breath when he hung up. "You're terrible," she said to Sherlock, biting her lip.
"You like him!"
"It's just a symphony. It's your fault, really. You should have gone when you had the chance," she said, squaring her shoulders.
She hadn't realized it'd be so cold. She hadn't brought a jacket, just a lacy kind of...thing over her shoulders that was more for show than practical purpose.
He noticed her shiver, of course. Right away, he removed his jacket and offered it to her.
"This is usually only a thing you do for a date," she whispered with a laugh.
He hesitated, almost taking the jacket back. His hands held it in the air, and he tilted his head slightly. "I don't need the extra warmth," he finally said.
She took the jacket. "Thanks," she said, trying to ignore the slight smell of his cologne and the warmth of his body and the way he looked rather exposed without a jacket.
6. Front stoop
"That was good! Thank you so much. I'll see if I can't return the favor some day," Molly said, glowing. "Really, thank you. I feel so sophisticated," she said, brushing a strand of hair behind her ear.
He paused, lingering for a moment, just close enough for her to wonder if he might not kiss her, even if it hadn't been an official date.
"Quite sophisticated," he said, then pulled back. "Good night, Miss Hooper. And please tell my brother all he missed out on." He smiled.
She smiled a bit too, wishing he'd kissed her, but glad she'd gone with him.
Would you like to go out on a real date? -MH
Please disregard that. - MH
No, don't disregard that. - MH
My brother is quite the trickster, don't you think? - MH
Well, I tried. Tell me: Would you go out with him, if he asked you? - SH
I'm so confused. xo Molly
8. Sherlock (again)
"Just tell him you'd go out with him. I can't take this."
Molly sighed and looked at Mycroft, who looked uneasy. "Fine. If you asked me, I'd say yes. You wouldn't, though. That's okay. I can see you don't have any interest in me. It's okay."
"I wouldn't say that, Molly," Sherlock said. "You're jumping to conclusions."
"Well, it's up to Mycroft, not you," Molly said. As far as she was concerned, the matter was over with.
"Okay. I'll go out with you," Mycroft said, tensed.
"Finally!" Sherlock said.
"Okay?" Well, that wasn't very enthusiastic, was it?
"Okay," said Mycroft again. He looked away.
"If you don't want to, don't," Molly said.
Mycroft said his goodbyes and left.
"Molly, you don't get it. He's shy, not uninterested."
"...Oh. Sorry. I'm sorry!" Molly could have hit herself.
"I heard you're just shy. Let's do it, okay? Let's go out."
"Let me check my schedule. I'll call back," he said, and while he sounded almost as calm as ever, there was a hint of something underneath that made her feel a bit more at ease.
12. Raising his voice
He looked wonderful, as always.
"Good! Now we can get to know each other," she said with a smile. "You do really want to be here, don't you? You aren't just humoring me? And don't just say you aren't; I'll be able to tell," she said.
"Of course I'm not just humoring you!" he said, raising his voice slightly. He paused. "Sorry."
"Er. It's okay."
They began to talk about Sherlock and about work.
"I thought since I asked you out, I'd pay," Molly said boldly. "I don't mind. You're worth it, you know," she said cheerily.
He sat frozen for a moment, as if she'd committed some great faux pas.
"Well, if you're that old-fashioned," she started, teasing him a bit.
He swallowed. "It's not that," he said, smiling and putting his wallet away. "Thank you, Miss Hooper."
She tried to ignore the way he had to watch the screen through his fingers as if he were much younger, much less powerful.
She, for her part, was thrilled and excited by the level of gore, but she tried to keep her enthusiasm down, not just because she was on a date, but because she didn't want to make him feel bad.
15. Looking away
"Not so bad, huh?" she joked. "All things considered.
"Not bad at all," he said quietly.
"Would you like to see me again?" she asked as the car approached her address. "It's okay if you don't want to. I understand." And, really, she did.
"No, I'd love to," he burst out. "I'd love to date you again. Sorry. Sorry, I'm so awkward about all this," he said, looking away.
She realized it then: looking away meant he was embarrassed for himself, not embarrassed about her.
She rested a hand on the crook of his arm. "I'm sorry. I was reading you wrong. I didn't realize you felt awkward like I did." She quirked her lip. "You're very sweet, aren't you?"
He laughed, tipping his head back a bit as he did. "Oh, I don't know about all that," he said.
"I do. At least, I think I do." She put her hand in his. "Come walk me to the door," she said, grinning. "I think the date was a success."
He shyly smiled and followed her out of the car.
+1. Interrupted kiss
Their lips met, after a moment of silent agreement. It was rather nice until Sherlock yanked the door open.
"Yes! I knew it!" Sherlock said.
Mycroft and Molly pulled apart, and she turned round to stare at her friend with wide eyes. "What in the bloody hell are you doing? I don't come interrupt your...well, I mean, if you'd even go on a date, I wouldn't. Right." She straightened her dress a bit, pouting a little at the unfairness of it all.
"I just wanted to ask how the date went. It went well, apparently." He smirked at her and said, "Note for the future: Did you know I made Mycroft promise to name a child after me?"
Molly turned to look at Mycroft, who rolled his eyes.
"Good night, Sherlock," Mycroft said firmly.
"And I think you'd—"
"Good night, Sherlock," Molly said, placing her hands on her hips. "Go on."
Thankfully, Sherlock went back inside and left them alone, though he seemed to want to see how they got along, wanted to study and categorize their reactions.
Molly laughed, and so did Mycroft. It was genuine laughter instead of a nervous giggle and a nervous tossing back of the head.